Analysts: Activision to carry October sales

Trio of industry watchers project 50 to 60 percent software sales spike on Guitar Hero III; Wii predicted to regain hardware sales crown.

Last week, Activision reported publisher-best revenues of $317.7 million, thanks in no small part to the debut of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. Released October 28 for the Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 2, the Neversoft-developed rhythm game brought in a publisher-best $115 million in first-week sales. With industry stat-tracking group NPD expected to release its October sales this week, analysts anticipate a big month riding the little guitar game that could.

Making one of the more bullish estimates, Evan Wilson of Pacific Crest believes that the gaming industry spiked 62.5 percent year over year to $600 million in software sales. Noting that October 2006 presented a soft comparison, Wilson states that two of this year's heaviest hitters--GHIII and Microsoft's Halo 3--contributed the most brawn to October's large gains, with the Bungie-developed shooter shifting 840,000 additional units and GHIII moving 1.45 million copies. Wilson also stated that Valve's The Orange Box was a "huge release," selling 450,000 units and helping drive EA sales to about $116 million for the month, though it "was limited by its release on just the 360."

Both Jesse Divnich of prediction market simExchange and Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter believe the industry is in for less aggressive--though still impressive--growth for October. Divnich pegs October sales at $565 million, up 53 percent, whereas Pachter projects $555 million in software sales, an increase of 50 percent. After a mild uproar inspired by NPD's announcement last week that it would no longer report hardware sales, the firm has confirmed to GameSpot that it will indeed continue to report the figures after having been given the go-ahead from Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo.

Likewise, Pachter and simExchange analyst Divnich took a crack at hardware sales for the month. Both analysts believe that Nintendo's console will regain the sales throne after the Xbox 360 usurped it in September. Pachter believes Microsoft's console will take a hit of some 200,000 units, landing at 325,000 for the month compared to the Wii's 450,000. Divnich believes it will be a tighter race, with the 360 moving 412,000 units to the Wii's 467,000.

With the October reporting period running through November 3, both analysts believe the PS3 will see a slight bump in sales on the release of the 40GB SKU, which took the field on November 2. Divnich believes the PS3 will shift 136,000 units, up from 119,000 last month, whereas Pachter sees sales of 125,000 for Sony's hardware.

Despite a minor upswing in PS3 hardware sales, Divnich also notes that PS3-exclusive games aren't faring well for Sony. "In previous months, highly anticipated PS3 exclusives Heavenly Sword and Lair both disappointed in sales," Divnich noted. "The same story emerges with the release of Ratchet & Clank with the prediction market only expecting 131,000 units, just shy of Heavenly Sword's 139,000 units in September. This comes as a huge disappointment, as critics have scored Ratchet & Clank much higher than Heavenly Sword."

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119 comments
Vyce3
Vyce3

Sony shouldn't be counting on those titles in the first place. I'm pretty sure Uncharted won't fare well either. Wait for Killzone 2, Metal Gear Solid 4, Final Fantasy XIII, Gran Turismo 5, SOCOM 4 and Haze. Now this is where it's at

Devvy01
Devvy01

that's alot of people rocking their guitars!

reader456
reader456

alright. Rob, i have to point out several flaws in your position. SCEA, not the developers, run the primary servers for the games on the PSN. unlike on PS2, the developers have much less responsibility for the online portions of their games. you are absolutely correct in what you say about the removal of features with each new SKU. however, i believe that sony is handling SKU's in this manner because they are defining their limits. they are taking out the less important components so as to extend the PS3 experience to more people, and this practice has been going on for years. the genesis 2 didn't have a headphone jack, after all. put this in comparison to the Xbox360, and it would seem that microsoft is trying to extend their limits. that is not a bad thing, but it has the potential to usher in the mentality of constantly needing to upgrade, such as you see in the PC realm. the need to upgrade constantly is not the reason you buy a console. you buy a console so that you can play new games for the next 6 years. at this rate, we'll all be buying quad-core processors for our 360's in 2 years, because the newest games will require them. thats not a future i want. that would suck. i just hope that i don't get flamed for this D:

reader456
reader456

alright. Rob, i have to point out several flaws in your position. SCEA, not the developers, run the primary servers for the games on the PSN. unlike on PS2, the developers have much less responsibility for the online portions of their games. you are absolutely correct in what you say about the removal of features with each new SKU. however, i believe that sony is handling SKU's in this manner because they are defining their limits. they are taking out the less important components so as to extend the PS3 experience to more people, and this practice has been going on for years. the genesis 2 didn't have a headphone jack, after all. put this in comparison to the Xbox360, and it would seem that microsoft is trying to extend their limits. that is not a bad thing, but it has the potential to usher in the mentality of constantly needing to upgrade, such as you see in the PC realm. the need to upgrade constantly is not the reason you buy a console. you buy a console so that you can play new games for the next 6 years. at this rate, we'll all be buying quad-core processors for our 360's in 2 years, because the newest games will require them. thats not a future i want. that would suck. i just hope that i don't get flamed for this D:

phaserde
phaserde

robx360..I understand where your coming from. You at least had some intelligent things to say. Your sorta right about your ps3 sku comment. Except the 40 gig is the only one to include less (the 80 just switched BC to software emulation instead of the previous hardware emulation). And the 40gb sku is just to appeal to the consumer who complained the other sku's were too expensive (although if u priced the 60gb at its old price of $659CAN and compared it to the price of an xbox at the time and the hd-dvd add-on they worked out to be the same price). Again in my opinion, the introductory price of the PS3 was not too much considering everything you got in comparison to the feature list of the competing systems. I see what your saying though and I feel the every time 360 comes out with a new sku, its too add things that should have been there to begin with. For example the Elite with HDMI (even though its still the outdated HDMI), or the "Falcon" models which are supposed to fix the overheating issue. these two things alone should have made it into the original 360 sku (ESPECIALLY proper heat sinking techniques). All im saying is the 360 has too many faults to have a hope of being declared winner of the console wars for this generation. The xbox has slightly outdated hardware, high failure rates, and lack of Hd video (Hd-dvd), where as the Wii is simply missing a hardcore GPU, while the PS3 is just missing...umm....well some will argue games (which are coming in abundance now). Correct me if im wrong though...what other faults does the ps3/wii have in comparison to the handful found in the xbox camp?? Again, im not tryna rag on the 360, im just pointing out what anyone who has done a bit of research would know. And since we're on topic of 'whos on track to win' I thought i'd input my 2 cents

robx360
robx360

phaserde you are intitled to your opinions. Mine consist of the following. Everytime ps3 comes out with a new sku they take something away. No backwards compatibilty for 40gig. Less usb ports etc. I understand they are trying to cut cost. Another thing is Xbox live is superior to PSN. I am happy to pay for the service. Mainly because microsoft takes care of the servers. Opposed to the developers using there own. The controller has 2 types wired and wireless. They are there to give you an option. Some people are lucky to get a 360. Then they have to worry about spending 50-60 bucks for a controller. With the wired controller it is cheaper. Also works just the same. Also GT has gone down hill in my opinion. You compared GT to PGR4. What if I compared Forza 2 to GT. Forza is far better in my opinion. Also we wouldn't be here without Mario. Nothing PS3 releases will ever top Halo 3. Gears of War is awesome and I'm sure a sequel is in the works. Plus alot of the games are going multi. Even Xbox exclusive. Look at Ace Combat for example. Only for Xbox 360 and It helped the 360 in sales in Japan. Topping the ps3 even. I don't think the numbers will hold though. Mainly due to the fact that it's just the opposite over there. The japanese have all the games on ps3 that there into. The xbox won't make it in Japan. Just like it's cousin. The ps3 won't make it here.

kokoru
kokoru

saw some people talking about game of the year, well i dont think it will be cod4, its reviews wernt the best, but the games was quite good. i think the best contender is mario galaxy, its seems to be getting awesome reviews everywhere. it seems that gamespot gave it the lowest score (9.5) ign gave it a 9.7 and gametrailers gave it 9.8, there are other reviews going for flat out 9.9 scores and even perfect 10 scores! other contenders may be bioshock, halo 3 and crysis if we are counting pc, assasins creed will apparently be good but i will have no money left as i buy all the other awesome games that suddenly just keep coming out! we have basically just had an explosion of nw games out lately and for beggining of 2008

phaserde
phaserde

@kokoru... your crazy... GT5 Prologue (you know, the demo of the real thing) kills PGR4. End of story. Second those graphic comparisons were done with ps3's 1st gen games vs xbox's 2nd gen games. Plus they used some of the worst PS3 titles to benchmark that comparison. If you ask me, g@mespot decided who was gunna win that before they even started comparing. Lastly PS3 does not need the crappy likes of Mario, the gears of wars guy, viva pinata and certanly not the halo. Xbox dont even have halo anymore (see Bungie leaving MS). I wonder where xbox will be now without its precious master chief. Lastly you wanna talk controllers?? Ummm how many controllers does the 360 have? Umm i think wired, wireless, wireless with rechargeable batteries, wired rumble, wireless rumble? Like how ridiculous is that? Honestly..how unprepared does a company need to be to release so many revisions within 2 years. Lets expand on that. How many systems does the 360 have now? i think 5 or so too? ridiculous. As for price the ps3 is the most expensive (and only by a smidgen now) but includes everything the xbox has plus more. For example a blu-ray player, free internet, actual 1080p support, hdmi, etc. So I mean 50 bucks extra is nothing. Then of course theres the issue of the RRoD that soo many xbox's seem to suffer from. In my opinion, all the aforementioned points alone will eventually bury the xbox 360 leaving the Wii and PS3 (providing the novelity of the Wii doesnt wear off too quickly).

robx360
robx360

I think your wrong about the controller. I am a Xbox fanboy. But the PS3 controller is fine just the way it is. They could of went with the boomerang. I guess there opinion on the controller is. Stick with what works. It has since the first Dual Shock. I don't plan on purchasing the PS3. Because of the facts that there are no great exclusive games in my opinion. We can argue that forever. But please leave there controller alone. It can stand right next to the 360 controller. Meantime they will both be making fun of the Wii mote. (I own a Wii and the controller is defintly different. I prefer the more tradtional controllers.)

kokoru
kokoru

Il tell you truthfully why the ps3 is not selling... 1:its the most expensive console 2:the games suck like hell (sorry but the games on ps3 are not getting good reviews, and the ones that are can be had on the 360 or sometimes wii) the exclusive games are not amazing and not doing so well. they need games like mario galaxy, halo3, gears of war. super smash bros or even viva pinata3: Despite what everyone was expecting, the graphics arnt as good as the xbox 360 graphics, and before you say im wrong gamespot has done 2 comparisons and in both they say the ps3 still isnt up to the xbox in terms of graphics. (ha, some people might even prefer the visuals from the new wii game mario galaxy, which by the way, is very pretty)3: the controller for the ps3 is worst out of the 3 consoles, and still using the controller design from the ps1, except with wireless and 'sixaxis'. the only thing that is really getting the ps3 sold, is old fanboys from the ps2 and the fact that it is a great blu ray player.

HXCDEW
HXCDEW

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

HXCDEW
HXCDEW

PS3 is slowly turning it around. The 40GB model already had a great start in UK and Japan. Hopefully it's successful in the US also thanks to the new, great marketing Sony has been doing lately.

Neo9898_98
Neo9898_98

I'm starting to respect the PS3 alot more than I used to.

Neo9898_98
Neo9898_98

I'm starting to respect the PS3 alot more than I used to.

blueblur87
blueblur87

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

blueblur87
blueblur87

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

blueblur87
blueblur87

I just bought a 60GB PS3 from Virgin Megastores, with Motorstorm and Resistance: Fall of man, and 2 blu-rays: Casino Royale and Layer Cake for £350. HMV has sold out of the 60GB PS3s here. Virgin actually ran out of Motorstorm, F1 and Heavenly Sword. 3 other people bought a PS3 whilst I was in the store, they are going like hot cakes now, since the 60GB one is not produced anymore! I can't wait for Assassin's Creed and MGS4.

greater_bird
greater_bird

Sad to hear that the PS3 exclusives haven't done well, since it's exclusives that really sell a system... Still, the PS3 is doing well in Japan, so that should be enough to keep it a three horse race well into the next-next generation.

commorancy
commorancy

I don't doubt the Wii retaking the hardware crown. In fact, I'm frankly surprised Nintendo lost the crown at all. They wouldn't have if Nintendo would actually begin shipping Wii to the stores so you could actually find them. As far as Lair, sorry but this game ended up as a flat one-dimensional gaming experience (not so much in the graphics, but in the gameplay). As far as Heavenly Sword, this is a fighting game. Basically, a tossable commodity. If Sony wants to make a mark in the exclusive title market, they need something like Mass Effect, Half-Life or Oblivion. A compelling first person shooter would do it, but something that also combines FPS with RPG might get gamers attentions. Maybe something like Shenmue III. but with an edge like Bioshock.

Zerosumgame
Zerosumgame

We need more analyst to make this world a better place. ew

Zerosumgame
Zerosumgame

We need more analyst to make this world a better place. ew

JAREDJR
JAREDJR

Well, they have my money. I'm glad I got my hands on Guitar Hero III Legends of Rock on its launch day.

bghattas
bghattas

It's sad that so many people need to get involved in system wars to mask their buyer's remorse. I guess it is the only way they feel better about their purchases.

cid_007
cid_007

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

cid_007
cid_007

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

cid_007
cid_007

...All critics except for Gamespot, who unlike the others, rated Heavenly Sword higher than Ratchet & Clank: TOD. Gamespot has refused to comment at this particular time....

Merl57
Merl57

fall 2007 best for games I have ever seen

felshs
felshs

i gotta say PS3 did put a dent in my wallet. i cant buy that many games for it. i will get 1or 2 a month. i will get heaven sword,lair, rachet and clank, assassin creed,and eye of judgement before new year.

felshs
felshs

i gotta say PS3 did put a dent in my wallet. i cant buy that many games for it. i will get 1or 2 a month. i will get heaven sword,lair, rachet and clank, assassin creed,and eye of judgement before new year.

epsilonone
epsilonone

360 for life u will have a short life if thats how u think. PCs for life

epsilonone
epsilonone

still geting a ps3 when MGS4 comes out, Until than I will play all those 360 exclusive games on my pc when they come out

wytefang
wytefang

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

wytefang
wytefang

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

wytefang
wytefang

So this Evan Wilson guy is kind of clueless if he said that the Orange Box was only released on the 360. Hey Evan, genius, you ever hear of the PC? Yeah, it's that thing you send emails with and surf the net while at work. Yep, that thing. That's the other platform, you know, the one with the largest hardware base of ANY game platform. Right. There you go. Get a clue. LOL

night_haunter
night_haunter

PS3 disappointes yet again, way to go sony. Xbox 360 4ever!!!!!

ctg867
ctg867

Well no crap. I know you still have some Halo 3 sales, but I think that cut off early in the month and will come back in late Nov early Dec because Halo fans got it around launch, now you need holiday sales to keep it going. Only other major thing you have is Guitar Hero III as far as sales are concerned, so no crap on the Activision thing. Orange Box is a great set of games, but without a demo or any real advertisement for people on the 360, it wasn't really picked up by too many people compared to how good the game actually is. The majority of people who picked it up where PC fans who had a 360. Piss poor marketing on Valve and EAs part. Pretty pathetic if you ask me, and just plain stupid. As far as 360 hardware, expect it at 300k. Don't even start thinking about 400k+ until again until late Nov early Dec. It just wont happen. Expect the Wii to continue to break 500k easy until next year when it slows down. As for PS3, I could see it hitting 125k-150k, and in Nov I could see it hitting 250k-300k due to the 40GB and the holiday sales. Lair was awful, so expect awful sales. Heavenly Sword was less then expected, but that's because of the installed base and that it's a new IP. But still, the sales weren't bad, they were pretty solid. As for Ratchet, that's a beloved IP, which had a good amount of advertising, I'd say expect 150k-200k, maybe more. Now if GTA IV came out, everything, INCLUDING Halo 3, would be six feet under.

government4213
government4213

you guys can argue over which system is the best till your blue in the face, but i could care less about system sales or which system can wash my car while walking my dog. It all comes down to games and which ever system has the better games i'm gonna buy first. Thats why i purchased the 360 first then the wii and next year (baring many more delayes on MGS4) i'm gonna buy a ps3

Ottozero
Ottozero

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Ottozero
Ottozero

Yeah ....I dont care.....PSWii360 owner right here!!! Where is Shenmue 3 DAMMIT!!!!!!!

Ottozero
Ottozero

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]